Indian police are investigating the death of a 14-year-old boy who reportedly committed suicide as part of an online suicide game.
The incident happened in the city of Mumbai on Saturday (29 July) when a teen named Manpreet Sahans jumped to his death from the terrace of his home. Before taking the extreme step, the class 9 student also posted a picture of his legs saying, "Soon the only thing you would be left with is a picture of me".
According to reports, investigators are linking the suicide to a deadly game called Blue Whale challenge. It is an online suicide game challenge, which has taken the lives of at least 130 participants in Russia. Though police have not found any direct link between the suicide and the game but are probing that aspect also, DNA reported.
"The teenager's friends were chatting on social media groups about his death being linked to the Blue Whale online suicide challenge game. But, we are yet to examine his mobile phone and social media groups where he was active," a senior police official was quoted as saying by the Mumbai Mirror.
The police officer added that Sahans had informed his friends that he will soon commit suicide but his friends "did not take him seriously and thought that he was joking".
"He also informed his friends that a man from the neighbouring building was trying to stop him from jumping and he also shared the picture of the said person with his friends. But before the man could help, Sahans plunged to death," he said, adding the man has said that Sahans was on the parapet of the terrace for around 20 minutes before taking his life.
Rashmi Karandikar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) and spokesperson for Mumbai police said, "We have registered a case of accidental death in this regard."
Karandikar also said that once the boy's family return from their native after performing the last rites, they will check the cell phone and other electronic devices.
What is Blue Whale challenge?
Blue Whale challenge has its origin in Russia, which reportedly targets depressed young people. The game asks youngsters to take the challenge and gives a series of tasks to the players, including watching a horror movie alone at mid night. It also requires participants to take pictures as proof of completion of their task.
The final task of the game is to take one's own life and document the final act in the form of photos or videos. It is said that the challenge started some four years ago in Russia and has already claimed many lives.